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LL, please improve Marketplace.


Oct Oyen
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LL has done a remarkable job on Marketplace, by modernizing the site design and adding new features. Majority of the problems from transitional period of Xstreet to Marketplace has been resolved.

The two key issues still unresolved are web site loading speed and search engine. Web site loading speed is painfully slow. Sometimes it would take over 10 seconds to load the front page, this is with a 25mb/sec broadband speed. Then there's the search engine which often produces random result. Xstreet SL might have been an ugly web site, but its search engine was Google like. It gives you what you're searching for.

It has been a few years since Marketplace replaced XStreet SL. I hope LL would address these two issues in a timely manner. Because it's not a good first impression to the new residents. New residents are already facing the challenge of navigating in-world. A slow loading Markeplace with random search result will only add to their frustrations.

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Nothing LL does is timely...ok I'll give them a rare exception....but generally, no. That's just not how they play ball.

Inworld search is beyond a joke and if they're going to work on ANY, it should be that, not MP.

However, that said...I have no issues with slow loading pages. I don't have the fastest connection in the world, either. So I can't really sympathize with having to wait 10 seconds for a page to load. Even that's a pretty short timeframe. Someone else was complaining the other day about it taking 5 seconds. I'm scratching my head a bit on that one too. The information loading on the page isn't always going to be instantaneous no matter what site you use. Especially ones with more than simple text on them. That's just how the 'net is at times. Now if it was taking a few minutes to load, that can be annoying. But ten seconds? Really? Even xstreet wasn't instantaneous. Neither was slex, or onrez. At least not for most people. For some, it might be.

As for the mp search bringing up irrelevant things. While I do know mp search needs work, we all know this, it isn't always the search that's the problem. In many cases, when you get things you weren't really looking for, it's because the merchant has those words somewhere in the listing, their store(or av) name, or...keywords. You can easily see what keywords someone uses within your browser(how to find them may be a different method for each browser, but the info is readily available). Odds are some of those irrelevant things, have keywords they probably shouldn't have. Or, the word is in the listing, somewhere. That's not unusual and happens more often than not. Much in the way inworld search used to function and people would name prims with all kinds of "keywords", so that their parcel would show up in many different searches, even ones irrelevant to their actual location, products offered, etc...

Yes mp search needs work, it has since it was implemented. Take the relevant search for example. All we can do is guess at how it determines relevance because LL won't tell us. Some think it has to do with sales, or views...I disagree entirely. I know which of my products are viewed, searched, and purchased most...and they don't come out on top of a search when relevant is clicked. At least, not all of the time. To be honest, that part of the search function has always baffled me, and I'm not alone in that. We've been trying to figure it out since day one, to no avail. Because every time we think we've got a good hold on it, we don't. But, for the most part, the rest of search, depending on what you're looking for, does function much better than inworld search. I can still find things I am looking for, as long as I know what it is I am looking for, and go to those specific categories to find it. If I search for red dress for example...unless I am looking to make my own, I don't need any category outside of apparel. All of those listings in other categories are probably useless to me. There could be red dresses in them, yes, but they're only in those categories because someone put them there. Search doesn't put them there, we merchants do. So, I know not to go to them, as they're miscategorized in many cases.
 If that makes any sort of sense outside of my own head.

Search inworld is more likely to confuse new residents than mp search ever will. I'm not giving mp search a pat on the back, because it is flawed, just not quite nearly as flawed as some people may think. Merchants do have a lot more control over where their products are placed, and why, than some might believe. You can refer back to ^ up there, when I was talking about keywords, and such. Not using them correctly, will often garner results not satisfactory to the residents. But that is no fault of search, that fault lies with the merchant not using word placement properly.

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Dresden Ceriano wrote:

I don't get it... MP takes a second to load for me and I usually seem to be able to find that for which I'm looking.  I must be doing something wrong.

...Dres  (It's the inworld search that I've completely given up on, unless I'm looking for a specific person or place.)

Please do not tell LL what you are doing wrong.  We don't want them to mess that up also.  ;)

On average 10 to 15 seconds for MP home page to load for me, usually leaning toward the 15 seconds.

I've gottten better at  finding what I'm looking for but it's almost an art form all of its own.

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I will not say that the MP is any worse than Shutterfly, Iherb, Amazon and other stores I buy from online. And the loading time is adequate. It differs between my mobile, pad, laptop and stationary, and also from computers I use at work. Very normal, I would say. Yes, I use the smoking breaks to all other things than smoking. ;)

What should be done, is lowering the amount of items by stop that merchants has to create an entry for every color and also a demo. When browsing, I should get one ad for each item, and selecting demo and color choiches from there.

It should also be possible to block merchants. Some abuse the search word system by adding "popular" words that has nothing to do with their product. LL does not do a good enough job today, the punishment of potentional buyers blocking their store would be more effective against keyword spam.

The default listing should be newest products first. That would cut down the massive ugly old crap that stay up on the front page. 

 

 

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The marketplace has lots of odd little usability issues that really should have been sorted out ages ago.

Like, the categories for listings are just not intuitive. Ever wanted to search just for furniture? Good luck! There is no furniture category and furniture winds up spread between multiple categories. 

 Just want clothing? Again, you need to keep it on "All Categories" because clothing is spread between "Avatar Accesories", "Avatar Components", "Avatar Appearance", etcetera.

 Because of this, filtering by category winds up almost useless.

 

You can buy an item from yourself straight from the listing screen, but not gifts.

 Marketplace listings still have a space for sellers to note the number of prims in an object, which many creators take literally or list a mesh as a single prim. Changing that to "Land Impact" would make more sense. (A mesh is not a prim. It is certainly not 1 prim regardless of its complexity.)

 Also, how about listing scripts and texture use? These are important things people need to know before buying an object.

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They have a rather flawed relevancy system - that makes them prone to moderate keystuffing attacks. They allow way to many fields that should be automated to be manually input (there is no reason to ask the prim count of an item for example, nor any permissions data, nor even its price or name, nor its location inworld if there is one - all of that could be read off of items automatically. Likewise mesh status, even attachment point for worn items to infer nature of the item (useful for boosting relevancy - a skirt that attaches to the hips or stomach is more likely to be a skirt than one that attaches to the right hand - so could could get bumped up higher in search).

They already flag demos - so these should already not show in search.

There is no reason the engine doesn't use cookies to tailor search based on prior searches. Even less reason to not be using purchase history for such.

There's no reason to not have one of those 'other customers also viewed' features.

The free open source ecommerce platform Magento which has one of the worst search systems known in ecommerce is still better than this one.

 

Considered LLs primary product is Marketplace, and that SL only still exists to give short-term motive for people to buy things on Marketplace - its in a pretty sad state. Not as much of a mess as SL, but not ideal by far.

 

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:

there is no reason to ask the prim count of an item for example, nor any permissions data, nor even its price or name, nor its location inworld if there is one - all of that could be read off of items automatically. 

The reason there is because a boxed item containing a 15,000 prim build would show as 1 prim.

The permisisons of individual items are shown in the "content" tab but again, if it's a boxed item or a complex item such as a mod object with a no mod prim, the collapsed permissions would be enumerated incorrectly.

Same for price, what price to show from what object?  How do you put a sale price on a texture that could automatically be read?

Location inworld?  I've no idea how they'd automatically get that either.

They do miss a lot of tricks though, i'm still waiting for them to make use of the [ ] Mesh check box in searches and i'd love to see an upload date as well.

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Sassy Romano wrote:


Pussycat Catnap wrote:

there is no reason to ask the prim count of an item for example, nor any permissions data, nor even its price or name, nor its location inworld if there is one - all of that could be read off of items automatically. 

The reason there is because a boxed item containing a 15,000 prim build would show as 1 prim.

[other reasons that are thinking too much inside the SL-box snipped]

Better databases could avoid that issue. Flag an item as packaged and it could check the contents and list them on the listing dynamically. The sale would show as 'selling a box with these contents' and there would be added consumer confidence in knowing the box actually had those contents.

There is though, also no reason anymore to be selling boxed items. With the received items system, much better to be selling either folders in inventory, or items existing in world. The 'boxed item' meme is outdated.

 

Location inworld - there is no reason I can't pick an item rezzed inworld and set it as the item I'm selling copies of on MP. And then that would give its location right there.

No reason to NOT let people put a sale price on textures. Its an item in the database. Turn on that flag.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

LLs primary product is land. They make more in teir fees in a day than they do in a month from commission.

It used to be. But they've shown all the signs in the past few years that they no longer care for their world, but they do care to monetize its market and become an ecommerce site.

The world, the land, is just propping up the Marketplace now, and exists for no other purpose anymore.

 

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:

 

Better databases could avoid that issue. Flag an item as packaged and it could check the contents and list them on the listing dynamically. The sale would show as 'selling a box with these contents' and there would be added consumer confidence in knowing the box actually had those contents.

There is though, also no reason anymore to be selling boxed items. With the received items system, much better to be selling either folders in inventory, or items existing in world. The 'boxed item' meme is outdated.

 

Location inworld - there is no reason I can't pick an item rezzed inworld and set it as the item I'm selling copies of on MP. And then that would give its location right there.

No reason to NOT let people put a sale price on textures. Its an item in the database. Turn on that flag.

I agree that it could be done but that's why it's not done right now.   Plus, I doubt that many users are really interested in having to inspect the sum of all of the permissions when you've got nested scripted objects inside each other.  It's just easier to look at the intent of the permissions in the listing (for now).

As for boxes, a lot of merchants did a mass migration, in some cases of thousands of items.  It's not practical to go back and unpack them all and then send folders to marketplace.  I've done my most popular items but not all.  New items go as folders.

I don't feel that the location thing works any simpler than manually entering a URL though?  It's just as easy to go inworld, copy the URL and paste it into the box of the listing is what I mean.  What you suggest would work but doesn't reduce the steps since you'd have to also be at the inworld thing to set it as the MP sellable item and there's no current user interface for that so that would need adding first.

The thing about textures, again, at present, there's no right clickable UI to allow them to be set for sale hence it's another hurdle for LL to get over.

Bottom line, they can't even do a search that utilises the existing "MESH" flag in the database so don't expect anything else, even if it can be done :)

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

LLs primary product is land. They make more in teir fees in a day than they do in a month from commission.

It used to be. But they've shown all the signs in the past few years that they no longer care for their world, but they do care to monetize its market and become an ecommerce site.

The world, the land, is just propping up the Marketplace now, and exists for no other purpose anymore.

 

They keep making more "improvements" to the viewer. Hell they just came out with a new one. More and more ways to make SL cooler and more enjoyable.

They still make more in land tiers than in commission sales.

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Penny Patton wrote:

 

Like, the categories for listings are just not intuitive. Ever wanted to search just for furniture? Good luck! There is no furniture category and furniture winds up spread between multiple categories. 

 Just want clothing? Again, you need to keep it on "All Categories" because clothing is spread between "Avatar Accesories", "Avatar Components", "Avatar Appearance", etcetera.

 Because of this, filtering by category winds up almost useless.

Most of that fault lies with the merchants. They are the ones putting things in categories outside of where they belong. Granted in some cases they may have to if a specific enough category doesn't exist, but in most cases, that's just not true. The categories ARE there, people are just choosing not to use them, for whatever reason. We can only assume why they list in the wrong category. There was a problem for a long time about products having the wrong pictures, but even that bug didn't cause the products to be moved into a different(unrelated) category. The products were still listed in whatever category people put them in.

Continuing to buy things that are in the wrong categories only sends the wrong kind of message. Maybe if people stopped buying things that aren't listed right, and those merchants realize.."hey, this isn't selling, maybe I should look into why", we can get more merchants to put things where they belong. I know there is always room for more categories and there are some they definitely still  need to add. It's still our responsibility, when we list, to put things in the most appropriate category. Some merchants just, well, don't.

I'm not giving the commerce team a pat on the back or removing any of their responsibility when it comes to this sort of issue. But I do know merchants have a responsibility to list properly too, and too many of them choose not to.

When I do a search, I go to the specific category(or categories in some cases) the item I am looking for would fall under. Sure there may be listings in many categories containing the sort of item I am looking for. But I know most of those aren't listed properly, and I don't think it's wise, for me, to pay those merchants when they can't even put their clothing into the apparel section, for example. Some things could fall under more than one category. Clothing, shouldn't be one of them. Unless it's holiday related and there is a specific category under that holiday for clothing. Otherwise, all clothing should be under clothing.(and then sub categories from there). If people are going to list clothing in other categories, I'm not going to even look at them, much less buy then. To me that sends them the message that misusing the mp is perfectly fine, just because we all know it's flawed. Basically, making it even more flawed. I don't want to contribute to that. The mp is messed up enough, we don't need merchants, or anyone, making it worse, or more confusing.

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Penny Patton wrote:

The marketplace has lots of odd little usability issues that really should have been sorted out ages ago.

Like, the categories for listings are just not intuitive. Ever wanted to search just for furniture? Good luck! There is no furniture category and furniture winds up spread between multiple categories. 

Home and Garden > Furniture.

 Just want clothing? Again, you need to keep it on "All Categories" because clothing is spread between "Avatar Accesories", "Avatar Components", "Avatar Appearance", etcetera.

Apparel.

 Because of this, filtering by category winds up almost useless.

 
Blame the merchants for not filing things under the correct category, not LL.
Any merchant can search for a category when they are making a listing.


 

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

They keep making more "improvements" to the viewer. Hell they just came out with a new one. More and more ways to make SL cooler and more enjoyable.

They still make more in land tiers than in commission sales.

I agree. LL seems to put a lot of effort into improving SL. It's not a matter of how much they care, it's a matter of competency.

 Like mesh. LL put a lot of time, money and effort into bringing mesh import to SL. However, when they did they neglected to account for how mesh would be used. We all know rigged mesh is primarily used for clothing and hair. The Lindens in charge of implementing rigged mesh swore up and down that no one would ever want to use rigged mesh for hair and clothing. They thought it was preposterous.

 Mesh came out, everyone was unhappy that it didn't support the SL avatar sliders. LL wound up having to put even more time, effort and mone into fixing the problem they created.

 On top of that there's several other major issues with mesh that LL still doesn't grasp and has no intention of fixing.

 

 LL spent gobs of money on pathfinding. We now have the ability to script some pretty decent pathfinding features for NPCs in SL (so long as those NPCs don't fly or swim). LL was very proud of this. One little problem. We still don't have NPCs to use with pathfinding. Talk about putting the cart before the horse!

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

Home and Garden > Furniture.


 Yeah. Go the marketplace right now and try to search the "Furniture" category from the drop down. You can't. You can search "Home and Garden" and that's as specific as you can get.

 

You can on the sidebar, but most people are doing to go for the drop down menu first. It's the most visible.

 


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

Apparel.

 


 

You do realize that pointing out there's an apparel category doesn't at all detract from the fact that there's half a dozen redundant categories that all essentially boil down to the same thing, right? Because that was my whole point.

 Let me paint a picture for you.

 Imagine if you could search directly for furniture within Home and Garden, meanwhile all the related categories that are not presently sub categories of Home and Garden could also be put together.

 This would allow you to search specifically under the "Furniture" sub category, or go up a step and search all of the furniture, landscaping, building component categories together, without forcing you to search one at a time, or do a single "All Categories" search.

 The same could be done with Apparel, Avatar Appearance, Avatar Accessories, Avatar Components, Full Avatars, etcetera. Simply by letting us filter things down to categories AND sub-categories as necessary without the redundant top end categories.

 It's not even that things on the marketplace are being improperly listed, it's that the categories themselves are so spread out and disorganized.

 

 This isn't rocket science, this is basic usability. Online marketplace interface design 101. And the fault lies entirely, 100%, with LL because they're the ones whose literal job it is to know this stuff.

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Penny Patton wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

Home and Garden > Furniture.


 Yeah. Go the marketplace right now and try to search the "Furniture" category from the drop down. You can't. You can search "Home and Garden" and that's as specific as you can get.

 

You can on the sidebar, but most people are doing to go for the drop down menu first. It's the most visible.

 

Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

Apparel.

 


 

You do realize that pointing out there's an apparel category doesn't at all detract from the fact that there's half a dozen redundant categories that all essentially boil down to the same thing, right? Because that was my whole point.

 Let me paint a picture for you.

 Imagine if you could search directly for furniture within Home and Garden, meanwhile all the related categories that are not presently sub categories of Home and Garden could also be put together.

 This would allow you to search specifically under the "Furniture" sub category, or go up a step and search all of the furniture, landscaping, building component categories together, without forcing you to search one at a time, or do a single "All Categories" search.

 The same could be done with Apparel, Avatar Appearance, Avatar Accessories, Avatar Components, Full Avatars, etcetera. Simply by letting us filter things down to categories AND sub-categories as necessary without the redundant top end categories.

 It's not even that things on the marketplace are being improperly listed, it's that the categories themselves are so spread out and disorganized.

 

 This isn't rocket science, this is basic usability. Online marketplace interface design 101. And the fault lies entirely, 100%, with LL because they're the ones whose literal job it is to know this stuff.

 Just because the drop down doesn't have a category doens't mean you can't use the side bar.. I would say most use the side bar as the drop down is relatively new.

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Loading speads of pages are a big issue. So is the proccess to purtchas something even if the item is free. Seems like the proccess has gotten longer with the addition of the new check out system. There has to be a better faster more efficiant way to check out then what they currently have.

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